The First Wives Club and Augmented Lips

Nothing is more memorable about the movie “The First Wives Club” than the augmented lips of Goldie Hawn.  While that movie parodies current trends on making the lips look voluptuous, there is a trend in Hollywoodand among the general public to enhance the lips and get rid of wrinkles through filler materials.

Since the 1980s, injectable collagen has been used as a soft tissue filler.  The primary risk had been allergic reactions and a test patch was required.  Now, human collagen (Cosmoderm) is used, so allergic reactions aren’t seen.  The body absorbs collagen over a period of several weeks and therefore the results are very temporary.

Restylane is a filler made of hyaluronic acid which is a natural component of connective tissue in our body.  In the past, it had been used to treat joint pain and more recently is being used to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as for lip augmentation.  The injection can cause some discomfort but the results can last up to six months.

Artecoll is a permanent “microimplant” which is composed of 75% collagen and 25% polymethlymethacrylate, which is a carbon-based, plastic-like polymer.  Like collagen, it, too, is injected into wrinkles.  The rare side effects can include lumping, granulomas (skin reactions such as hardness or rash) or migration of the microspheres.

Radiance is another permanent implant which is composed of calcium hydroxyapatite, which is found in bones and teeth and is provided as a paste to inject.

Perhaps the safest and most natural results are obtained with fat augmentation. The fat is taken from a patient’s abdomen or thigh and is injected with special cannulas into the lips and wrinkles.  The procedure is done under local anesthesia and generally takes about one hour. The results can last permanently as seen in patients that undergo weight gain during pregnancy and see fuller lips.

While all of these fillers increase volume to the lips and other areas, fine lines are best treated with chemical peels or laser resurfacing.  Great results can be achieved with TCA peels or an Erbium laser with minimal downtime and the skin looking 10 years younger.

As you can see, there are many options to fill out lines and lips.  The best result can only be obtained by seeing a physician who is familiar with the products and procedures,  so you do not end up like Goldie Hawn!